Common Misconceptions About Car Accident Claims
According to the Michigan State Police, there were 282, 640 vehicular crashes in Michigan in 2021. If you’ve been in a car accident in Michigan, you might have some questions about Michigan’s car accident laws and how to file a personal injury claim.
If you believe you are entitled to file a personal injury claim, it is always crucial to hire an attorney to help you through the process. Serving Detroit, Michigan, as well as Dearborn, Southfield, and Warren, Detroit Legal Group PLLC can assist you in navigating Michigan’s car accident policies and can dispel some common myths that may be preventing you from pursuing a personal injury claim.
Myth 1: It’s Always the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance That Pays for Damages/Injuries
Michigan is a “no-fault” car insurance state, along with twelve other states. That means no matter who caused the accident, the costs come out of your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This coverage pays for costs related to your own injuries and damages to properly parked cars and other property (fences, buildings, etc.) caused by your vehicle.
You must buy separate collision insurance in order to receive compensation for damages to your own car. For example, if you choose the “broad” or highest level of collision insurance in Michigan, your insurance will pay even if you were more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
Myth 2: Since Michigan is a No-Fault Insurance State, I Can’t Seek Compensation From the At-Fault Driver
Usually, an at-fault driver, who has no-fault insurance, is protected against personal injury claims and lawsuits from the other driver. However, a car accident attorney can help you file a personal injury claim that meets the requirements to bypass the “no-fault” law and gain compensation directly from the at-fault party’s insurance company. To meet the requirements to file a third-party insurance claim or file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, one of the following must apply:
The accident must have caused “serious injury” resulting in loss or reduction of bodily functions, permanent mutilation or disfigurement, or death.
The accident resulted in costs amounting to $1,000 or less in vehicular damages not covered by your insurance, and the other party was 50 percent more at fault for the accident. (This policy is called the “mini-tort” provision of the no-fault law.)
The accident happened in another state.
The accident was caused by a non-resident using a vehicle not insured in Michigan.
Myth 3: If the Accident Is Minor, It’s Not Necessary to File a Police Report
You might ask yourself if it’s necessary to report a minor accident such as a fender-bender. In Michigan, car accidents need to be reported if the accident causes more than $1,000 in property damages, causes injury or death, or causes any damage to an unattended vehicle or piece of property.
As noted above, if you were not at fault for the accident, you can indeed file a personal injury lawsuit if the accident is minor and you have less than $1,000 in damages to your vehicle under the “mini-tort” provision of the no-fault law, so you should exchange information with the other driver, take photographs of the accident, gather eyewitness accounts, and file a police report as soon as possible.
Myth 4: I Was Partially At-Fault for the Accident, So I Can’t File a Personal Injury Claim
You can use your own Personal Injury Protection coverage in Michigan to pay for costs related to your own injuries and damages to others’ property whether you caused the accident or not.
In addition, Michigan follows “modified comparative negligence” rules. If you were involved in an accident in which you were partially at fault but the other driver was 50 percent or more at fault and you suffer serious injuries, you can file a personal injury claim. A personal injury attorney can argue effectively on your behalf if you were partially at fault.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Help You With Your Claim
Detroit Legal Group PLLC is the right choice to help you file a personal injury claim. Our team of experienced trial lawyers excel in the courtroom and are dedicated to helping their clients receive the compensation they deserve. Call today to request a complimentary consultation.